Those of us who live in the San Fernando Valley know firsthand the frustration caused by sitting in traffic and driving on roadways and bridges that need repairs or replacement. In a major step forward for California, 6,500 transportation projects statewide are underway with $5 billion in annual funding dedicated to mass transit to ease traffic jams, fix local streets, roads, bridges, tunnels and overpasses.
This essential funding source, however, is under attack. Proposition 6 on the November ballot seeks to repeal SB-1, the source of funding for those 6,500 projects funded in its first year of existence. The projects represent tangible improvements to our communities. Proposition 6 halts this progress and limits future opportunities to assure a safe and reliable transportation system for the Valley and all of California. The measure is short-sighted because it denies current and future generations the repairs to existing transportation facilities and prevents new transportation alternatives, resulting in more traffic and pollution that our children will inherit.
We travel on some of the most congested corridors in the country with a backlog of billions of dollars of deferred road and bridge maintenance. I am unaware of anyone who believes that their commute to work is relaxing or comfortable. Living in the Valley, we commute to business centers throughout the region and lose hundreds of hours of quality time annually through traffic delays.
By voting No on Proposition 6, we’ll maintain the funding that has resulted in 6,500 transportation projects that are not only improving our highways and making them safer, but also reducing congestion and enhancing our quality of life. Identifying and investing in transit solutions is critical, given current conditions and enhanced when we consider that Los Angeles is set to host the 2028 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
Los Angeles County projects Proposition 6 would eliminate include:
• 303 projects fixing potholes and repaving roads
• 50 traffic congestion relief projects
• 281 projects improving safety of local roads and bridges
• 51 safety improvement projects for pedestrians and bicyclists
In the Valley, road safety projects, including bridge and overpass upgrades to make them seismically safe and structurally sound, would be eliminated. None of us want to experience the aftermath of the 1994 earthquake when several ramps and aerial structures were destroyed. Incorporating modern engineering measures can prevent a recurrence.
Other projects designed to ease congestion, repair potholes and improve public transportation would also be eliminated under Proposition 6.